26 May 2012

The Shounen Club 19 May 2002 review

Well we enter the third season of the program of Shounen Club with this episode. This will be the last season at this studio as the fourth season is when the program moves to NHK Hall and goes from a half hour slot to a full hour.

I also have a good portion of the episodes compared to the earlier seasons. I did a little checking and it looks like the final two episodes of this season are just recap episodes so I will do those two together as it does not look like there is much to discuss about them.

But onto the episode.

We get a new intro for the new season. Again it focuses mainly on the Juniors that are the hosts for the program and was directed by Takizawa Hideaki.

Tackey is also the guest of this program. He tries to hijack it but is stopped by the actual hosts of the program as the usual member introduction begins.

There is nothing much to say about the introductions this time around. Things seem to be rather fixed for the groups for the most part. Though I do wonder where they got the costumes for J-Support this time around. And cannot help but notice they had then skating (but it has to be with the shoes with built in rollers and not actual roller skates), which I guess in a way could be viewed as the reason as the three that do not debut with NEWS end up in Kis-My-Ft.

We also get a bit of a spotlight on Moriuchi Takahiro, who seems to be a new Junior here, who was a part of the nine member NEWS line up but left the agency to later become the vocalist of the J-rock group ONE OK ROCK. His father is also a popular enka singer so I do not think it is surprising to see him being pushed by Johnny's.

KAT-TUN though get a bit more than the usual introduction spot as they get to perform what was announced to be an original song, Drive Me Drive On, as a part of their introduction. I think this is a good sign at the rise in the group's popularity that they get this kind of special treatment.

After that is done it is the usual studio segment with the usual five Juniors as the hosts for it. Tackey of course is there and the subject of the talk is the Junior Fight drama.

They call in the two Junior groups that will be participating in the drama, KAT-TUN and J-Support.

Yokoyama Yu is back as a guest and from the reactions from the hosts it seems like this is his first return to the program. Tackey introduces him as a part of the drama and Yoko is his usual goofy self.

Tackey does a song, circle, which is more like a duet with Yamashita Tomohisa. Tackey seems intent on showing off his body for his performances this episode, which is fine as he does have something to show off and age is no issue with him seeing as he is already 20 by this episode.

The segment starts off with Tackey announcing staff roles for some of the Juniors there. Most notable is Ikuta Toma being made Assistant Director (AD).

It then moves on to do a script reading which is basically everyone sitting at tables and going through the script. They do get some direction about how to read the lines at this stage but not much more.

It is pretty amusing to see Kamenashi Kazuya messing up as much as he does during this considering that nowadays he stars in dramas.

The performance is Tackey doing a medley of songs with random sword fighting thrown in. Most of the performance has a traditional Japanese feel to it and I think it shows Tackey's interest in this kind of performance before he got to do his solo stage musicals which tend to center around such themes.

And more Koyashige.
We also get Part 3 for the drama making of segments. This time they have moved on to actually adding movement to the script reading.

This new freedom of movement seems to have made the "staff" even more willing to goof around and take things off track. I think I am beginning to be amazed that Tackey was able to actually make this drama as it seems like no one is taking it very seriously.

We also seem to get the start on Taguchi Junnosuke being the one to go to for abuse in KAT-TUN as he gets "beat down" by not only his own group but Tackey as well.

They wrap things up shortly after the practice for this scene to go to the final number for the program.

The closing number is done by the younger Junior groups like Ya-Ya-Yah and A.B.C. It is strange to think of A.B.C. as one of the younger groups as I associate them with being one of the older groups as they were when I got into Johnny's.

And just because here is little Yabu Kota, who is still looking completely adorable.

At the end of the program now Yamapi has his own segment that he gets to talk about a topic. My Japanese is not good enough to follow what he is saying for the most part so I do not find this segment all that interesting.

This does not seem to be the best episode to see what has changed from last season with so much being given to the special drama. The next episode or so should give a better idea of things. Yet this episode I felt was enjoyable as it is easy to see that the boys are truly having fun doing what they are doing.

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